The Strategist

The European Parliament lifts Marine Le Pen's parliamentary immunity

03/02/2017 - 14:22

The European Parliament (EP) lifted parliamentary immunity from leader of "National Front" and far-right French politician Marine Le Pen at a mini-session in Brussels.

Olaf Kosinsky
Olaf Kosinsky
"A clear majority voted for deprivation of immunity," - declared the Chairman. Marine Le Pen herself was not present in the parliamentary audience at the moment of decision-making. 

Previously, EP Committee on Legal Affairs voted for stripping the French presidential candidate of parliamentary immunity. Besides, French authorities placed Marine Le Pen under formal investigation after she posted photographs of "Islamic State" group’s atrocities on her Twitter. The French side also was an initiator of lifting the parliamentary immunity from Le Pen. 

There is no open statistics of lifting of immunity from MEPs. Decisions are made at request of national law enforcement agencies. Founder of French "National Front" Jean-Marie Le Pen has repeatedly been deprived of immunity for statements about immigrants and the Nazi occupation, but has never been imprisoned.

As for Marine Le Pen, her MEP immunity was lifted for the first time in July 2014 after she was charged for comparing streets thronged by Muslim prayers with streets of the country during World War II. However, the charges of incitement to racial hatred were withdrawn in December 2015, and the parliamentary immunity was restored.

Earlier, Mathias Döpfner, General Director of German media holding Axel Springer, said that "National Front" party led by Marine Le Pen "is moving in a radical and fascist direction."

These words have become one of the most negative statements from the corporate sector against Marine Le Pen, who, according to numerous polls, still retains the lead in the election campaign in the upcoming presidential elections in France.

The WSJ notes that Head of Axel Springer made his statement on Tuesday, February 28, at the US Embassy in Berlin. Mathias Döpfner, in particular, said: "The term "populist" is too harmless for her. Her party is moving in a radical and fascist direction".

Meanwhile, Marine Le Pen’s chances of winning the presidential elections remain high. Arun Kant, CEO of Singapore hedge fund Leonie Hill Capital said in an interview to CNBC that she will become the next president of France, if she wins the 1st round of elections.

The financier noted that the forecast has been made by the system to analyze "big data". Head of Leonie Hill Capital said that the machine analyzed arrays of data in social media, traditional media, results of public opinion polls, as well as situation in the economy and demographic trends in France. If Marine Le Pen wins a "convincing" victory in the first round of presidential elections, she will also win in the second round, despite adverse forecasts of many experts.

The artificial intelligence program of the hedge fund forecasted that Le Pen will receive 28% of votes in the first round of elections, while Emmanuel Macron will be supported by 19% - 20%. François Fillon will win just over 16%.

The expert said that majority of predictive models are currently suggesting that Macron will win over Le Pen at the second round of presidential elections in France with an average score of 52.3% and 47.7% of the vote respectively.

Kant said that if Le Pen wins the first round, she will be able to enlist support of more voters in the second round: "If she wins the first round, the balance of power will change in her favor."

Presidential elections in France in 2017 will be held in two rounds: the first round is scheduled for April 23, the second - for May 7th.